August 18, 2010
Dissociation: Questioning Reality
What is happening with me is that I'm swimming in the deep, dark hole of dissociation. I'm trying to figure out just what it is in my anguished memory that has me reeling every August and basically makes my life from August through the holidays almost a complete wash.
The memory iceberg I've started to chip away at with my therapist is extremely complicated. It's going to take a lot of work. And the fear of the feelings that this chipping away activity will reveal, naturally for me, leads to a lot of dissociation. Luckily--at the moment, anyway--I'm able to observe this dissociation, rather than getting suicidal or running away in dissociative fugues. Both of these less attractive alternatives I have experienced in the Fall many, many times.
Lost In/Out Of Time by LuvLisa on Polyvore.com
The other day, for example, I was experiencing a great amount of derealization after my therapy session. This particular time, it was not a particularly unpleasant experience, but it is always strange and bizarre. I was fixing dinner and realizing that I was not quite sure who it was who lived in this house where I found myself in the kitchen. I was waiting for some stranger to walk through the door and ask what the hell I was doing in their house. But, as I looked around, I noticed it was a nice house and I was glad to be there. I kept the panic that can often arise at these moments at bay by reminding myself that my husband was the one who would actually be walking through the door--home from work--at any moment. Fortunately, I was not experiencing depersonalization at the same time; the panic would have been harder to suppress otherwise.
I don't know if anyone I meet will ever fully understand the concept of dissociation, if I, myself will ever fully understand it, or if any "expert" in the field will ever sufficiently explain it to me. But, let me bring something to your attention that you may be able to relate to.
Have you had a chance yet to see the movie, Inception? In the movie, the characters are forced to question their reality again and again. I think dissociation is very much like that. Just imagine in addition, however, that while you are questioning your reality, you are also questioning who the hell you are.
I really relate to what you're saying. I often don't recognize my face in the mirror, say things I can "hear" myself saying but it isn't "me", write things I have no recollection of writing.
I don't know which "me" is "me".
You are strong and have come a long way. Thinking of you and sending you good vibes. Love from my heart to yours
That must be very confusing to wonder who you yourself are. It does sound like progress is being made if you can observe the dissociation rather than just be engulfed by it.
Take care of yourself! Thank you so much for an update! *hugs* <3
i see dissociation as a protective mechanism. putting distance between your consciousness and what is scary or upsetting. but then the problem is when the dissociation itself becomes scary and upsetting too. as you know, i'm no expert, this is just my perspective. i've never been diagnosed with dissociation, but what you describe feels familiar to me.
i'm wishing you safe, peaceful feelings and that you are able to find a way to feel grounded and calm as much as possible during this difficult time of year.
i hope you're doing ok. sending safe and peaceful wishes your way~~
Paula: Hhhmmm...Germany is really the triggering place, huh? I haven't found that to be the case for me. I though I'd receive a lot of relief moving so far away from Illinois, but it didn't happen. I so hope you find relief with your American move. Welcome to the U.S., Paula! Thanks for your words of encouragement and confidence. I know the progress you're talking about it true, it's just hard to believe it when I'm in the middle of something sometimes. Love to you, too! :)
IK: Thanks for your understanding and concern about the carnival. I have a host lined up for September that I'm quite sure will be a go, but I don't have any hosts set up after that. So, I guess I need to start looking into that. Thanks for your encouragement!
White Rose Girl: Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment again. That IS a good distinction, isn't it? I don't think it really quite hit me like that until I saw the Inception movie. Not knowing the reality of your surroundings OR the reality of YOU is really the kicker, isn't it?
JBR: I appreciate you coming to my blog, giving me your blessings, words and hugs, even if you DON'T understand dissociation...especially so, actually. You are so appreciated. And, I like the way you call me Marji sometimes, too. I haven't really shared this, but I often refer to my inner child self as Marji, and that's exactly the unique way I have of spelling it. *hugs*
Katie: I think what you've described as the survival miracle of dissociation AND the dysfunction of it later in life is perfect and right on. Thanks for those safe and peaceful feelings.
And I will check out the awareness post you mentioned. Thanks! You're a sweetheart! :) xoxoxo
If you want me to fill in and host for August just let me know (if it is too much to even think about right now I totally understand, but just thought I would throw the offer out there in case!)
Paula: Thanks for checking back. Lots of love to you, too, deary! :)
Patricia: Thanks for coming over with your supportive comment. I, myself, really struggle with the holidays as well. But, I usually get a respite between Jan 1 and Easter. Easter is hard as well. I think the "fall freak-out", as I call it--starting when the kids go back to school--has to do with both of my abusive parents being teachers. Yes...I said...teachers! Hard to believe, yet true!
Dan: Thanks to you, too, for coming over with your support. I can definitely relate to the little flashback pictures. And my birthday is often hard, too. It is in November, so it's kinda stuck in the middle of the fall-to-holiday time.
Marj, you are loved, cared for, and have people in the waiting should you need support. Me included.
Sending you lots of positive vibes and safe hugs.
Sarah: Thanks so much for being in my corner and for showing how you relate in your kind comment.
Cupcakes: You're welcome for the sharing. It helps me, too, of course. AND thank YOU for the hugs. (((((((Backatcha, sweeties!)))))))
Paul: Hey, thanks for stopping by. Nice to "see" you. Yeah, if the trailer was disorienting, the movie would probably be too much so.
Paula: I'm sorry about the body memories. I know it's hard not to dissociate with them. Good for you. We are both healing and getting better and better. Thanks for that reminder, deary! *hugs*
I am so sorry about not hosting August. I hope it didn't cause you more stress and make your dissociation worse. Truly, I'm sorry. ... I have finally posted why I have not been on my blog lately and have not been commenting to others. I hope you forgive me...
I do want to host the carnival, tho, so if anyone else cancels, please let me know as I'm hoping the "danger" is no longer a threat.
Ivory: Oh, sweetie, please don't worry at all about the carnival. We all have things to deal with and things come up with hosts or we have a scheduling conflict all the time. I usually just juggle things around and work it out. It was me who just didn't feel up to it last month. We're cool. And I may, indeed, need you to host coming up here at the end of the year, thanks. You stay safe; that's the most important thing. *safe hugs*
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